1. IN the dayes of one Iudge, when the Iudges ruled, there came a famine in the Land. And there went a man of Bethleem Iuda, to seiourne in the land of Moab with his wife, and two children.
2. himself was called Elimelech, and his wife, Noemi: and his two sonnes, the one Mahalon, and the other Chelion, Ephraites of Bethleem Iuda. And entering into the countrie of Moab, they abode there.
3. And Elimelech the husband of Noeme died: and she remained with her sonnes.
4. Who tooke wiues of the Moabites, of the which one was called Orpha, and the other Ruth. And they abode there ten years,
5. and both died, to witte, Mahalon and Chelion: and the woman remayned destitute of her two children & her husband.
6. And she arose to goe into her countrie with both her daughters in law from the countrie of Moab: for she had heard that our Lord had respected his people, & had geuen them victuals.
7. She therfore went forth from the place of her peregrination, with both her daughters in law: and being now sette in the way to returne into the Land of Juda,
8. she said to them: Goe into your mothers house, our Lord doe mercie with you, as you haue done with the dead and with me.
9. Grant he vnto you to find the rest in the houses of your husbandes, which you shal take. And she kissed them. Who lifting vp their voice beganne to weepe,
10. & to say: We wil goe on with thee to thy people.
11. To whom she answered: Returne my daughters, why come you with me? Shal I haue sonnes any more in my wombe, that you may hope for husbandes of me?
12. Returne my daughters, and goe your ways: for I am now spent with old age, and not fitte for wedlocke. Although I might conceiue this night, and beare children,
13. if you would expect til they grow, and be of mans age, you shal be old women before you marrie. Doe not so my daughters, I besech you: for your distresse doth the more greue me, and the hand of our Lord is come forth against me.
14. Therfore lifting vp their voice, they beganne to weepe agayne, Orpha kissed her mother in law, and returned: Ruth cleaued to her mother in law.
15. to whom Noemi said: Behold thy kinsewoman is returned to her people, and to her goddess, goe with her.
16. Who answered: Be not against me, to the end that I should leaue thee and depart: for whither soeuer thou shalt goe, I wil goe: and where thou shalt abide, I also wil abide. Thy people my people, and thy God my God.
17. The land that shal recieue thee dying, in the same wil I die: and there wil I take a place for my burial. These thinges doe God to me, & these thinges adde he, if death onlie shal not separate me and thee.
18. Noemi therefore seing, that Ruth with a stidfast mind had determined to goe forward with her, would not be against it, nor perswade her any more to returne to her frendes.
19. and they went forth together, and came into Bethlehem. Who being entered into the citie, a brute was quickly spred among them: and the women said: This is that Noemi.
20. To whom she said: Cal me not Noemi (that it to say, beautiful) but cal me Mara (that is to say, bitter) because with bitternes hath the Almightie very much replenished me.
21. I went forth ful, and our Lord hath brought me backe emptie. Why therfore doe you cal me Noemi whom our Lord hath humbled, and the Almightie hath afflicted?
22. Noemi therfore came with Ruth the Moabite her daughter in law, from the Land of her peregrination: and returned into Bethlehem, when barley was first reaped.